Sealing Criminal Records in Texas – Non-Disclosure
Recently quite a few clients have come into my office asking me about current crimes and past crimes. As far as past crimes go, their big question is usually… How do I go about sealing my criminal record in Texas? This question really deserves to be broken into two separate posts. This post will give you a brief description of what options are available to you.
Sealing criminal records in Texas means different things to lawyers, clients and the general public. It’s also important to keep in mind that all “record sealing” isn’t the same. Why would someone want to have their record sealed? Well, it may be preventing them from getting a job, applying to rent a better apartment, and the potential for that embarrassing information being available on the internet.
In Texas there are two types of record sealing available. The first type of sealing criminal records in Texas is what’s called an Expunction. Maybe you’ve heard of the term having your record “expunged.” An Expunction is the most ideal form of having your record sealed. When a record is expunged, you can deny that the entire arrested and/or criminal charge ever occurred – except if you testify during a trial.
The second type of sealing criminal records in Texas is what’s called a Non-Disclosure. Although a Non-Disclosure isn’t as ideal as having your record expunged, it does help to keep your criminal history private. I generally like to think of Non-Disclosures as a “veil” between the public and your criminal record that only certain entities can look behind.
Not all records are eligible for and Expunction or Non-Disclosure. Depending on how your case was handled, you may be eligible for one or the other, or neither. It’s important to put the past behind you and move forward with your life. If your criminal record is holding you back, it is well worth exploring your options of sealing criminal records in Texas.
In the next post I’ll go into detail about Expunctions – eligibility, legal effect, and rough outline of the legal process.